Archive for September, 2013

Double meanings

By
September 30th, 2013



At the end of another long work day, Claus and I found ourselves looking at each other across the kitchen table for the daily debrief of the marital How Was Your Day pleasantry. It was clear from some other, earlier indicators that my super mellow, almost-never-mad husband was grumpy.

Now he's at the part of his story where he talks about the office. "...and just a bunch of sh*t to deal with at work; same old," he complained with a sour expression.

"Man, you really are in a bad mood," I exclaimed.

He actually looked surprised. "Why would you say that?"

"You just swore. You never swear," I said. He's so proper and so mellow, his version of being angry is one very calmly expressed, mid-level curse word. If he ever drops the F bomb you should run for cover because he hardly ever gets that mad.

"Oh! That's because I really did have a bunch of sh-t. The plumber was over, a continuation of the same old problem we've been having for a couple days now," he laughed.

Then he continued by telling me the bathroom overflowed so he had to rent a portable potty. They would only accept cash on delivery. They were firm about it. This is never a budgeted expense, so he balked at that news.

"They don't take sh*t from anyone," he complained. "Or wait. They actually take sh*t from just about everybody."

And in related news...

Olivia and her cousin were playing cards. Camryn was teaching Olivia to play Go Fish or something that involves calling out the names of the cards.

We overheard her saying with disappointment, "Aww. I got Jack." Which is really funny because she doesn't realize that's really close to the expression for having nothing - though the tone of voice would be correct for also saying she ain't got jack.

Her own house

By
September 27th, 2013



My six year old recently asked about the price of houses in Hawaii. Hoo, boy. How do I convey the concept of half a million dollars?

I related it to her allowance, which is paid in quarters. I told her to imagine our whole house filled with quarters.

"I'm going to live with you," she declared after letting this visual sink in. "It's a lot of money to buy a house." It would be funny if not for the fact that it's so common for actual adult children - and their children - to do in Hawaii today.

Trying not to feel used for money, I said, "Or is it because you want to be near Mommy?"

"I want to be near Mommy!" she quickly agreed. So cute, so cute.

Until she added, "Plus, I want to have some memories of you when you die." Oh, so much less cute.

Summer staycation

By
September 25th, 2013



Summer's come and gone, and we did not take any family trips. We decided to take a mini vacation in Waikiki one weekend.

I really enjoy staycations. I know it doesn't sound that interesting to vacation where you live, but it really can be.

For one, it's nice to be at a place where you're forced to be together and not tempted to do chores or other tasks. When I spend time at home on a weekend, I try to clean up, cook, pay bills, and do all the domestic things I ignore over the week.

Olivia will go outside and play with the neighbor kids, and Claus will go do some exercise.

But on a vacation, we all have to do the same thing. The forced togetherness is nice. Well, at least for now. I hear it's a whole different story when they're teens.

The adults also felt we got to rest our brains. I love that the hardest decision was were to eat at night.

At night, we walked the streets of Waikiki, taking in a different flavor of the town. We finally got to try Japengo in Hyatt Regency (thumbs up!) on the first night. On the next, we walked to King's Village for dinner and to stroll around the shops on one night. Did you know there's a farmer's market on Saturday nights? I haven't walked around King's Village since I was a kid.

By day, we swam in the ocean, towing Olivia out on a boogie board while we got in a little exercise and fish-viewing. I was lucky enough to swim over a huge turtle. (Which is always panic-making for the first second, particularly when there's been all these reports of shark attacks in Hawaii.)

I love when I can see the fish. The ocean floor looks pretty bad just offshore of Waikiki, but there are still a few spots here and there around half-dead coral heads where a dozen or so fish will gather for safety.

Closer to shore, there is a school of akule that I like to find and swim among. They're all silvery and skittish and beautiful, and it reminds me of the cartoon Finding Nemo.

I consider it a great day if I can see sea life in its natural habitat. We would spend an hour in the water, and by the end of this quick vacation, Olivia's ocean confidence had increased to where she enjoyed swimming on her own (instead of on the board or clinging to us.)

I like that she also got to see the way fish really live - not artificially populated in an aquarium. Perhaps it might inspire the budding environmentalist in her.

To think: people save up their entire lives to have their dream vacation in Hawaii, and we live right here. How lucky is that?!

Likeke Falls

By
September 23rd, 2013



I've recently discovered a wonderful, child-friendly hike in Kaneohe called Likeke Falls. It's named after the man who created it, the late Richard H. Davis.

IMG_3168

It's a very short hike that's nearly all in the shade. It's under an hour round trip if you start at the parking lot of the Ko`olau golf course. The hike ends at the base of the Ko`olau mountains under a 15' waterfall.

IMG_3170

I found a website with good directions: http://www.weekendhike.com/2009/07/likeke-waterfall-oahu.html

Olivia and I went up with group put together by a state funded family friendly organization, and we brought lunch to eat at the waterfall.

Rattlesnake Plant

Rattlesnake Plant

Along the way I learned about a flower called a rattle shaker (Calathea crotalifera.) Apparently, when the flower dries, the seeds inside make a rattling sound when shaken.

Rattlesnake Plant

Rattlesnake Plant

The kids loved splashing their feet in the water, and we all enjoyed the beautiful views of Kaneohe Bay.

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Such a pleasant way to start a Saturday morning!

School Enrollment Open for the 2014 aio Hawaii State Spelling Bee

By
September 20th, 2013



A record number of 85 schools participated in the 2013 aio Hawaii State Spelling Bee. Enrollment for the 2014 competition just opened, and nearly 40 schools have already begun the enrollment process. The competition is open to public, private, parochial and charter schools and schools can enroll by visiting www.spellingbee.com.

The cost to register is $120 per school. Registered schools receive a virtual Bee-in-a-Box—everything the school needs to conduct their school-level Bee.The deadline for schools to enroll is October 15, 2013.

School level Bees need to be held before November 30. The winner and runner-up from each school will be invited to participate in their respective District Bees. Seven (7) District Bees (Leeward Oahu, Central Oahu, Windward Oahu, Honolulu, Big Island, Maui County, Kauai) will be held in January 2014. The winner and runner up from each of the District Bees will then participate in the 2014 aio Hawaii State Spelling Bee, to be held on Saturday, March 22, 2014.

The 2014 Hawaii state champion and his/her chaperone will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. in May to compete in the 87th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. The 2014 competition is open to all students from grades 4 through 8.

The 2013 aio Hawaii State Spelling Bee Champion was Akira Takabayashi, an 8th grader from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School on Kauai.

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